Tony Fernandes: The Man Who Built AirAsia

TIME

As soon as AirAsia Indonesia confirmed that Flight QZ 8501 had been lost, the company’s CEO Tony Fernandes took to Twitter to express his dismay

The spotlight is nothing new for Fernandes, the 50-year-old executive from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In addition to building Asia’s most recognizable budget carrier, the airline executive has cultivated a high-profile image, becoming something like Asia’s version of Richard Branson, the British billionaire who runs Virgin Airlines.

When Fernandes took over AirAsia in 2001, the airline had two planes…

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